Life is Big and Our Heads are Small

We are all happy and exhausted after a birthday party for Oliver made possible by so many wonderful friends, new and old, from this Island we call home.

I told Oliver, while he was getting ready for bed tonight, that I was having trouble remembering everyone who had come–the kitchen served 50 bowls of chilli–and his response was that life is big and our heads are small.

If I were to pick any one inspiration from tonight’s festivities, it is the joy of being able to show people the results of their efforts

In the room tonight we had people from the delivery room on the day Oliver was born, teachers and EAs from innumerable classrooms where he’s learned about the world and himself, kind-hearted support workers who have taken him–and us–under their wings, politicians who have inspired him, neighbours who have watched out for him, musicians who’ve entertained and befriended him, friends from when he was a toddler, classmates from kindergarten and classmates from grade 12.

All of these people had a role in raising Oliver these 18 years; each has contributed something, perhaps without knowing it, to the person he has become.

It makes me so happy that these people could gather, share a meal, meet each other.

And see that the newborn they conjured back from the edge in the NICU, the young boy who benefited from learning about “juicy words,” the teenager who felt welcomed in for a cup of tea and a tune, the young man who needed help finding a way, through words and images, of telling his own story, the citizen who benefited from compassionate, open-minded role models… they played a part in that.

And it was Oliver’s idea to bring them all together.

Life is big. Our heads are small.

What an amazing night.

Peter and Oliver at his 18th Birthday


Ton Zijlstra 's picture
Ton Zijlstra on October 2, 2018 - 03:45 Permalink

A great thought Oliver. And a cool party. It was fun to be able to watch the live stream from afar and sing along on the couch when you all were singing Happy birthday.

vbj's picture
vbj on October 2, 2018 - 08:46 Permalink

Happy Birthday, Oliver! We were with you in spirit.
The Bang-Jensens

John Boylan's picture
John Boylan on October 2, 2018 - 09:13 Permalink

That's a quote calling out for a print run, Peter. And, Happy Birthday to Oliver.

Olle Jonsson's picture
Olle Jonsson on October 2, 2018 - 16:52 Permalink

Thank you, Oliver, for inviting us!

Krista-Lee Christensen's picture
Krista-Lee Chri... on October 2, 2018 - 17:53 Permalink

What a fantastic idea for him to make a reality. Happy Birthday Oliver from a stranger!

Joan Sinclair's picture
Joan Sinclair on October 4, 2018 - 20:07 Permalink

Those are beautiful thoughts, Peter, and I'm so pleased that Oliver's party was an international success.

Martina Roell's picture
Martina Roell on October 5, 2018 - 11:00 Permalink

I very much enjoyed the party. And I am deeply happy to know you and Oliver.